December Blues

Am I really blue, or is this just this day’s feel? I’m not sure. I feel like the new year should begin already, so that I can make New Year’s Resolutions. This is not very productive, I know. But after-Xmas always feels like nowhere-land to me. I’m free-floating.

But that is no place, no state of mind to be in. So, let’s look forward, let’s think about all the great things that are gonna happen NEXT YEAR.

In writing: I’ve got three short stories I wanna write for submissions so far. I’ve already started on two and maybe that would be something good to do these last days of December, writing on them. One is a zombie-story. I actually enjoy writing something that is so very different. I remember before I read Cell by Stephen King, I was sure that there was no way to write a zombie-story. I guess I’ve come a long way. It always surprises me, the restrictions my logic brain puts on my imagination, and how my imagination just goes along with it until it is proven wrong. Gotta work on that.gale-zombiediaries

Resolution No. 1: Broaden Horizons.

The second short story is a love story that relates to writing/has a writer in it/is book related. I always criticize writers when they indulge in writing about writers, but I’ve done it in the past and will probably do it in the future. I’m doing it with this story. Why is it a bad thing? Because I feel it’s self-indulgent. I feel like nobody is quite as fascinated by writing and writers as writers are. But maybe I’m wrong. Gotta work on letting go of prejudices, of things I think I know, but just have a notion of.

Resolution No. 2: Be More Open-Minded, As Well As Open-Hearted

The third story is going to be a fairy tale of sorts. A new take on an old fairy tale. Mine will relate closely to that first short story, will be a sequel in a way. Fairy tales are in high command, a fad, a fashion. I like fairy tales, but I’m not going to use a Grimms’ tale or even Anderson. It will be a favorite, though. I’m gonna tell you all about it when I’m writing/have written it. The thing I’m especially happy about this and the first one, they’re genre works. They’ll both have a love story and a HEA/HFN (Happily Ever After/Happily For Now), but they’re genre fiction.

That’s something I actually wanna do more of. Taking a step back from romance and engage more with genres I haven’t written in yet. I wanna get my feet wet, try things out. That’s why I’m a writer, after all.

Resolution No. 3: Write Differently/Difference

sightlesseyesMy big project for 2016 will be The Sonnet Series. Come January, I’m gonna start with Sightless Eyes, a paranormal story of a girl seer. She discovers that her world is inhabited by supernatural creatures and that there’s a war going on, in secret. One of my inspirations for this were a couple of Shakespeare sonnets, hence the title(s). For this it’s sonnet 43.

Resolution No. 4: Read More Classics

There are probably more resolutions, there are always more resolutions, more things to do. But I guess these will help me with my writing, hopefully. There are also more projects, but I’ll tell you about them by and by. Who knows how much I’ll get done in 2016?

What are your resolutions, writing projects for next year? Tell me in the comments.

For now, I hope you’re enjoying the last days of 2015. Maybe you’re more inspired/motivated than I am. I hope so.

Writing Projects [2015]

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Ah, December. For me, December is kind of the month-equivalent to Neverland, a place in time when tv specials remind us of what happened this year and we already look toward next year, our plans, our resolutions. Nobody really lives in December, it’s all about the past and the future and, of course, Christmas. In my immediate family, there are still three birthdays to be celebrated and I layaway from one of them to the next until one week later there’s Christmas and another week later it’s New Year’s.

So, I decided to forego all pretense and tell you about my writing plans for 2015, since it’s practically almost here now.

I feel like 2014 has been a wake-up call for me as writer to finally take my passion for the written word seriously. I want to write – I want to write more than anything else in my life and I’m willing to make sacrifices. I’m also willing to work hard (yeah, I know NaNoWriMo kinda showed what a lazy scribe I am, but never mind that now) and maybe even stick to a schedule. Maybe…

Of course, should I come across an awesome idea that just lies there and trips me, I might stop what I’m writing immediately to write that first. But for now, I looked through my stuff, some of it older than the Moses of a web book I’m working on, and found some projects I’d like to write next year.

Here’s they:

Halfway Home – will be first. I still like the story and I’m still thinking about it. I started writing this as a Christmas short story but it got to be longer than I anticipated and now it’s at 18,916 words and far from finished.

It’s about two women from New York who meet in Cincinnati – Dina is on her way to Denver to possibly spend her last Christmas with her father who’s very sick, and Kerry is celebrating Christmas with her family and ex. They get to talking as Dina is stranded there because of bad weather and when her father dies, Kerry invites her to spend Christmas with her family.

What I like most about the story is that it’s a character piece. Dina and Kerry are very different from their background and way of living but they find common ground. There’s Kerry’s boisterous family and Dina’s rather stocky, conservative family, Dina is a hot shot lawyer and Kerry a carpenter. They don’t have much in common but they meet when they’re both lonely and need somebody in their lives who’s got nothing to do with their lives. That’s the connection. As they return to New York, there will be other people, too, friends mostly. Some of them will keep them apart, others may work to get them together.

That, at least, is the plan for the story. I still have a lot of writing to do and am glad for it. I think Dina and Kerry are among my favorite characters I have created. I’m looking forward to writing them again.

I’m not sure with which story I’ll continue, so those next projects are in no particular order.

Carpe Tempus – is the novel I worked on for NaNoWriMo, and while I didn’t finish it, I still think it’s a good idea and would like to work on it further.

Wells Brandis returns to her hometown after her mother died to sort through her belonging and sell her house. She has never been especially close with her mother due to the older woman’s secretiveness. While she tries to find out who her mother really was, she has to deal with her own problems and relationships.

It’s drama, make no mistake. Every now and then, I like to bury myself in something truly sticky and dramatic – today is not one of those days and I find writing about it a little tiresome. It’s not in and of itself but I still find it difficult to write about – so, I guess, this is not the first thing I’ll be writing after Halfway Home, but I still want to return to it next year, we’ll see. There’s always November, though I’m not sure I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo next year.

On the Rebound (aka Playing the Game) – is the German text I’m planning to work on next year. I decided to add a German text because I genuinely like writing in German, every once in a awhile but not all the time. It’s a very prosaic language and great for literary ambitions.

The story is about two girls meeting in high school and falling hard for each other. The story is told in retrospects when one of them, Lane, tells the story of their love to her daughter after meeting the other, Amy, unexpectedly at the airport. I’ve already written a lot for this story, over 70,000 words, but there’s so much work to be done on it… I’m not even sure where to begin, but I’d like to make this chaotic first draft readable at some point.

For the German projects of the future, I’m pretty sure I’ll be using old ideas, stories I haven’t been working on in years, maybe. The idea to On the Rebound dates back probably about ten years if not more. I didn’t even add dates to my stories then which says a lot – the young always think there’s so much time, and that their stories will be written in a flurry. I’m looking forward to working on this one, because it means facing a younger me and editing her horrible writing into something readable.

Love, Unexpected – is a new idea, one I had only weeks ago. I think it’s good. One of the things about myself that baffles even me, is that I’m obsessed with certain tropes or themes. And the most surprising is probably the Wedding theme. And I’m talking heterosexual wedding, and as such a heteronormative background for my lesbian romances. I guess it’s not that difficult to see the appeal, as all queers constantly live in a background of heteronormativity and the wedding of yet another relative or friend is just part of everybody’s life.

In this story, Greer Tomlinson, an arts dealer in California, is returning home to South Carolina for the wedding of one of her high school friends. Her girlfriend is not happy with her going and their fight might be the end of the relationship but Greer still leaves. Her friends  from way back when haven’t changed much, at least not the bride and her best friend. Sara and Caroline are still taunting other people for being different – among them Sara’s sister Madison who is an out lesbian. You know how it goes from there, Sara falls for Madison while she’s in South Carolina and the wedding is the beautiful, yet slightly neurotic backdrop for it.

I love homecoming-stories, especially for a wedding. I don’t know why but there are quite the number of films – most of them tv movies – that I like. You know, just spending an afternoon watching Bridesmaids with Sela Ward… it’s weird, but I like it. Kinda like watching High School Musical with my mom, it just makes me happy.

Sightless Eyes – last but not least. I already wrote about this in my latest post about MyNoWriMo. I’m planning on a little different NaNoWriMo which will probably happen in June, thus MyNoWriMo. We’ll see how and if this will happen, but the idea for this novel is a big one – it’s actually a trilogy.

I call it The Sonnet Series. Each part has a Shakespeare Sonnet as inspiration and the title is from the respective sonnet, too. For Sightless Eyes the inspiration is Sonnet 43. It’s the story of Hunter Fielding who doesn’t know it yet, but she’s a gamechanger in the undeclared war between humans and supernatural creatures. Well, maybe it’s not that dramatic but she has visions and those visions help the extraordinary creatures in the town where she now lives with relatives to fight a supreme enemy.

Cryptic enough? I don’t want to give away too much. The Sonnet Series is one of my big projects. The idea is from June last year and it’s been marinating in my brain some. It’s one of three very ambitious projects, one where I want to step out from my usual genre of lesbian romance and simply make a queer character the hero of a different genre. Hunter is said character and she will have her share of emotional turmoil over creatures she’ll meet but it’s mostly about her fight against the discrimiinating force that wants to kill her, too, now that she’s discovering her powers.

Those are the projects I want to work on – and hopefully finish – next year. Yeah, ambitious, I know, but I think it’s doable. We’ll see whether I’m right or not – it could be me overestimating myself, of course.  I’m looking forward to next year,  though, but have to get back to this year and my revisions on The Affair.

Carpe tempus, lovelies.